Najwa Nabti, the Director of the Undergraduate Law and Master of Legal Studies Programs at the University of Arizona presented a paper at a conference at The Hague entitled, “Legacy of Impunity: Sexual Violence against Armenian Women and Girls during the Genocide.” The conference organized by Alexis Demirdjian, the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the USC Dornsife Institute of Armenian Studies was entitled “The Armenian Genocide’s Legacy 100 Years Later.”
Professor of Practice, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. Thanks to Chris Robertson, Roy Spece and Darren Modzelewski for their insightful comments.
Sexual violence against Armenian women and girls during the Armenian Genocide a century ago has been well-documented by survivors, diplomats, missionaries and other eyewitnesses. The means used to subjugate and persecute female Armenians were as diverse and widespread as they were brutal. Unfortunately, such acts have only been repeated in subsequent conflicts, with similarly devastating consequences for the victims, their families and their entire communities. With few exceptions, such devastation has been achieved with impunity. For the past 20 years, however, increasing efforts have been made to prosecute these acts as war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. The plight of Armenian women and girls, whose trauma has been passed down through generations, reinforces the importance of these efforts.